The 10 highest-paying jobs in health care

A new CNBC review highlights the highest-paid health care professionals—and doctors aren't the only ones with six-figure compensation.

How physician pay is evolving in an age of consumerism and burnout

For the list, CNBC analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the 10 highest-paying health care jobs in the nation based on median annual wages.

Who makes the most?

Physicians and surgeons, are the highest paid health care workers on CNBC's list. Their median annual wage is $208,000, according to CNBC.

But other recent data show variation in how much different doctors make. A separate analysis by Medscape found that in 2017 orthopedic surgeons had annual compensation of $569,009, while pediatricians had average annual compensation of $234,506. The Medscape survey put average annual physician compensation at $299,000—about five times more than the median U.S. household income.

Average physician compensation has increased steadily over the past seven years, because the "physician workforce is relatively stagnant in terms of growth and that demand for physician services keeps rising," according to Tommy Bohannon, VP of Merritt Hawkins.

According to the CNBC analysis, the median annual wage for all health care workers in the United States is $64,770, compared with a median annual wage of $37,690 for all U.S. occupations.

What other health care professionals make

The nine other occupations on the list and their median annual wages are:

2. Dentists: $158,120;
3. Podiatrists: $127,740;
4. Pharmacists: $124,170;
5. Nurse anesthetists, midwives, and practitioners: $110,930;
6. Optometrists: $110,300;
7. Physician assistants: $104,860;
8. Physical therapists: $86,850;
9. Occupational therapists: $83,200; and
10. Radiation therapists: $80,570 (Knowles, Becker's Hospital Review, 10/24; Hess, CNBC, 10/24).

Learn more

To learn more about our research on compensation, and read more about the organizations leading this charge, read our report from the frontier of physician compensation.

Download the Report

To learn more about how you can attract and retain physician talent—without competing solely on compensation—read our report on winning the war for physician talent.

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